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Logan • The 34-3 win over Southern Utah was good for Utah State, a dominant victory over an inferior opponent. A passed first test, if you will.
But the Aggies know they have to play a much more efficient game to have any chance to challenge Utah next week.
Utah State simply was much better physically than the Thunderbirds, which led to the blowout.
But the Aggies were a sloppy bunch following a three-touchdown first quarter.
"There were a lot of youthful mistakes that we made that we absolutely have to correct if we are going to continue to get victories," USU coach Gary Andersen said. "It was a great win for us, no question. Still, we have a lot to clean up."
Utah State incurred 10 penalties for 120 yards. The Aggies muffed a punt and lost a fumble inside SUU's red zone. USU placed a kickoff out of bounds, and the cornerbacks were flagged for multiple interference calls.
Any one of the aforementioned mistakes could be near fatal against an experienced Ute team that didn't allow a point in a 41-0 season-opening win against Northern Colorado on Thursday night. Put them all together, and the trouble could be even more pronounced.
"When we look at the film, we're going to see that we made a lot of mistakes," sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton said. "We know that we have to play a lot better in the coming weeks if we want to get wins."
It seemed as though Utah State, when at its best, could score at will against SUU. Keeton has been improving gradually in the passing game, and he showed that improvement by completing 22 of his 26 throws. The new spread offense took shots down the field, and the running game proved to be more than competent with Joe Hill rushing for 116 yards and three touchdowns.
Still, the inability of the defensive line to generate pressure on SUU quarterback Brad Sorensen had to be a concern. And the Aggies were stuffed on a fourth-and-1 deep in T-bird territory.